September 16, 2021

Xbox One X

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It turns out FIFA is ideal for teaching mental health patients about resilience

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It’s clean, bright and open. There’s colourful art on the walls, the lingering but not unpleasant scent of toast, a fish tank bubbling away at the front desk.

A mental health unit looks just like a run-down Travelodge. It’s a quiet place for people to get respite from unfair, unstable, unsupported lives, somewhere to learn some sustainable coping strategies. I worked in this unique setting for quite a few years, and it was there that I learned how FIFA can build resilience.

I thought I already knew all about resilience. It had been drummed into me from an early age, from the magical resistance spell in Dungeons & Dragons to the resilience stat in World of Warcraft. It was intrinsic to card-battling and choose-your-own-adventures. Games had been teaching me about the need for a valid defense against the perils of the world, a magic suit of armour. I guess I hadn’t been listening closely enough.

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